Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I don't know when summer is officially over, but it's cool and rainy here, and I'm craving everything pumpkin, so as far as I'm concerned, it's officially autumn. And to me, that signals a few things: break out the boots and sweaters, and break out the slow cooker. I don't actually have to "break out" my slow cooker, since it doubles as my rice cooker and I use that all the time, but you know what I mean. It's time to start cooking up some warm, stewy, comforting meals.
I actually made this chili the weekend we were planning to be stuck inside during the hurricane, because I wanted to have a bunch of food that would be easy to reheat on the gas stovetop in case our electricity went out. It's from Robin Robertson's Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, which is a great cookbook although not all the recipes are vegan. I have another vegetarian slow cooker book, which I won't name here, but I'll say that I greatly prefer Robin's. Her recipes seem much more inspired and appealing to me, but that's just my personal preference.
This chili recipe was totally satisfying. I made it a bit spicier by including more jalapeno, and I love the addition of hominy, which also made my husband happy as it is an ingredient he ate a lot as a child and is a part of many Native American diets. Other than cooking the garlic and onion for a few minutes in a skillet, the rest of the ingredients are all thrown together into the slow cooker, given a stir, and 6 to 8 hours later, voila! You have chili! Slow cookers are so brilliant that way. They even give you time to dig out those sweaters and boots from winter storage.